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Friday, August 3, 2012


Our guest today is Terri L. Austin, the debut author of Diners, Dives and Dead Ends, A Rose Strickland Mystery. To learn more about Terri and her books, visit her website. -- AP

I love a good hero. Or in the case of my new mystery, Diners Dives and Dead Ends, a good heroine.  Rose is brave in the face of adversity. She’s loyal and kind. All good fictional hero/heroines should be brave, likeable, but flawed and human at the same time.

But I have to admit, I love a good villain just as much. A good villain lets our heroine shine.  Gives her something to work against, makes her sharper, stronger. Brings her game up a notch.

Not the mustache-twirling villain or the obvious psycho. Where’s the fun in that? I want a villain dressed up like a kind, elderly neighbor. Who’s secretly blackmailing her fellow choir member. Or the businessman who drives his kids to soccer practice. But has another, secret family one town over.    

But what’s better than a good villain? A sexy one. A villain who’s so bad, he’s good. And looks good when he’s doing wrong. One who rides the edge between being lost to the dark side or being almost redeemable. And that’s the kind of villain I like to write about. Is he all evil?  Or is there just enough good left to make him turn from his wicked ways? And that’s what makes the sexy villain so intriguing. Even when he’s doing something morally wrong, we can’t help ourselves. We’re attracted to his bad boy persona, we want him to be redeemable, to change his ways. And we admire the heroine that makes it happen. Will he give up his illegal ways for her? Or is she only fooling herself by thinking there’s something decent in him? 

So what do you think? What makes a great villain? And do you like a sexy bad guy as much as I do?

Thanks for joining us today, Terri. Well, readers? How do you like your villains served up? -- AP   


Deborah Macgillivray said...

Oh, I so agree! The most vile bully I knew, was also the most beautiful young man I have ever seen. Blond hair, blue eyes. Girls looked at him and swooned, but he was EVIL. It taught me at a early age villain are not always Snydley Whiplash. Some of nature's most deadly things are beautiful, and use that beauty to further their evil.

The sexy villain gives you a good dose of reality and are so much fun to read and write.

Terri L. Austin said...

I agree, Deborah. Sometimes the most benign-looking people are the worst. But a blast to write.

Larissa Reinhart said...

Love sexy villains & Terri has a very sexy one in her book named Sullivan. He's delicious! Great post, Terri and Lois!

Terri L. Austin said...

Thanks, Larissa! Sullivan is quite a character and keeps my heroine, Rose, on her toes.

Cindy Sample said...

Hi Terri. I love the title of your book and will check it out as soon as I finish this comment. I write my villains as very complex characters so your "Sullivan" sounds like he adds much to your story. And the sexy part certainly doesn't hurt!

Terri L. Austin said...

Thanks, Cindy. I love a complex villain!

Anise Rae said...

I'm with Larissa! Love Sullivan. He's my favorite type of hero.

Karen McCullough said...

Absolutely love a sexy villain. Someine you can love to hate! Comic book villains are so boring. I like them with a bit of complexity, even a reason why I might root for them under other circumstances.

Anonymous said...

The title of the book sounds like that Guy Fieri T.V. show!

I think a villain should be mean and maybe ugly, not too good looking or else the heroine may fall for him. Right now I can imagine a villain with an eyepatch, but then again I did see someone like that in a movie recently.

Anonymous said...

I made the previous comment. I don't know why my name doesn't show up; my e-mail shows up on the main page and I'm signed in.

Michelle F.

Terri L. Austin said...

Thanks, Anise! Sulllivan is sort of an antihero/hero?

I agree, Karen. the more complex and conflicted the villain, the better.

John said...

This article is really worth reading, it has too much details in it and yet it is so simple to understand, & yea Thanks for sharing the picture it made your post really good and it has great detail in it, i really appreciate your true artistic work!

GED Online

E. F. Watkins said...

Great topic! Most of my books feature sexy villains, and in a couple I deliberately made the villain so handsome in a wholesome, guy-next-door kind of way that no one but the put-upon heroine believed he could be a bad guy. In my latest, I had a lot of fun taking a very bad (but sexy) guy and showing him start to reform...with the help of a very strong woman, of course!

Terri L. Austin said...

Thanks, John!

Sounds intriguing, E.F. A fallen angel type. I love it.